In the car the temperature said 16 degrees, yet my clubs were in the car and I was heading to a golf course. Ready to shoot in the high 90’s, since I haven’t touch a golf club since November, I was en route to Beaver Meadow Golf Course in Concord, New Hampshire.
A place the locals call “The Beav”, has a winter set up every golfer dreams of. It houses two aboutGolf PGA Tour simulators, one year round and one temporarily in the pro shop. I had the privilege of taking some swings here and there was a lot to like and some things I didn’t really like.
So lets look at the pros of this facility:
- Easy to find: It is just off of 93 so it is very easy to find not to mention there was a lot of signs pointing you in the right direction.
- Staff: Driving there I was nervous if I was going to get a stuck up golf pro, a high school kid that couldn’t look up from his phone for 10 seconds or someone who had no clue what they were doing. I got lucky, the girl working the pro shop that day was excellent. We showed up 25 minutes before our scheduled tee time and she set up the whole thing for us, providing us a sheet with all the available courses and before we changed out of our boots into sneakers she had it all up and running and ready to go.
- Software: I’ve played a few simulators in my life and this was the first aboutGolf one, and I loved it. My guest and I played the Old Course at St. Andrews from a good list of courses that included Hazeltine, St. Andrews New Course, Pebble Beach and more. The first thing that stood out to me was the graphics. They seemed very realistic and authentic. A great feature was the small monitor where you set up your round and do things such as mulligans (which we used a lot of), drops or a flyover of the hole before we played it, was touch screen which was very nice and made it very easy to work. Also with this software you could maximize the target area where you were aiming with the distances which made hitting the wrong club a little more frustrating. Putting seemed to be a tad inconsistent but the way it highlighted the contours in the green made putting less of a hassle, as it usually is on a simulator.
- Atmosphere: Very low key and quiet. The other simulator was far enough away you didn’t run into the other group. They had a speaker with SirusXM playing and were free to change the station to whatever. It was easy to comfortable which was nice after not taking a swing since mid-November, I was a bit tight.
- Dining: Take two steps out of the pro shop and you run into their 19th Hole Cafe where you can get a bite to eat a nice cold beer. Pretty convenient.
No place is perfect, so these are the things I didn’t particularly like. But there weren’t many…
- Software: Although I mentioned this is the pros, I liked the software, I didn’t love it. This software was lacking when it came to feedback. It would show you club speed, smash factor, apex and some other stats the average golfer looks at and has zero clue if it is good or bad. The simulators I have played in the past would literally show a picture of the face angle at contact and the part of the face the ball hit. For the higher handicap golfer this missing feature hurts them because if they are hitting the ball every which way face angle and impact are some valuable things to know when trying to fix your problems. The other small, nit picky thing I disliked about this was shots from the fringe to 20 yards from the green. Putting was nearly impossible it would never get there even if you cranked it. The bump and run was hard to do. It seemed like it wanted you to fly a wedge in when that wasn’t usually the smartest play. Very picky, I know but it was something that caught my eye.
Crazy to think a place only has one con, but honestly I really enjoyed my time there. Nothing went wrong, our round went just over an hour and the pro shop let us finish 18 since there was a gap after our tee time. It was a great experience and for only 40 dollars an hour, not per person… per hour, max four people at one time, it is a bargain. If you get a buddy to join, you can play 18 for 20 bucks. Pretty good deal and you get to swing the new clubs you’ve been dying to hit since you bought them at the end of season sale. I would recommend this place to everyone. I drove just over an hour there and I would do it again.
If you’re in the area, it is a must visit while the snow is still here. You can contact their pro shop at 603-228-8954 or stop by the course at 1 Beaver Meadow Road, Concord, NH 03301. For more information visit their website at http://www.beavermeadowgolfcourse.com/golf_simulator